It’s Monday 3rd October 2011 and flying hippos

The question I hear you all asking is – has she gone mad!!?

My answer to you all is nope, still as sane as ever – which some might question in itself, but I assure you everything is ticking along as it should be.

And so to qualify the title of this It’s Monday…

One of the great “hardships” of the job and of this time of the year is the necessity of driving up through the park for our weekly visits to Tena and Nsefu. Along the way it is all business as I am sure you can imagine but we disguise ourselves well with cameras and sunhats, as you never know what is going to be lurking around the corner. So last week we were en-route and found a rather large road block of 6 big bull elephants – obviously on a boy’s holiday. We parked off in the shade and watched them as they dozed under a winterthorn, then, all of a sudden, it was time to wake up.

Bull ElephantElephant

The lead bull told the team to get going and they were off, clearing the road so that we could pass, but then also heading straight down to the river exactly where we were driving across. WOW what a treat – maybe it is just me but elephants for me have to be in the top two or three, and then to see six large bulls crossing the river you could call it seventh heaven. So landrover in neutral and engine off we coasted down the river bank and along the sand as quietly as our car would let us to watch the boys hitting their version of the pub. After a while we were rather baked, as the mid day September sunshine does pack a punch, so we started the car up and crossed the river, all the time with the elephants just looking at us and not at all concerned by our presence.

Getting ready to cool offIn they go

a pair of bullseveryone in

Up on the other side of the bank the mood changed and they looked like making a move and crossing. All that stood between them and the other side of the river was a pod of hippos. As if to try to show off they wandered upstream until they got to a very particular spot and off they went. Now the elephants are looking lovely and cool and having a great time with one of them diving into the river, but the hippos at this point are not having such a great afternoon. What would you think if you were minding your own business and suddenly a rather large elephant came charging through your huddle! So the hippos start to panic and peel off left, right and centre – mayhem ensues and then simply to add insult to injury one of the elephants hooked his trunk and tusk over one of the hippos and just chucked him out of the way. I never thought that I would see such a thing as a hippo flinging competition, let alone a hippo being made to look so light and pathetic. I kid you not, this really did happen and all the time we were there witnessing it. Unfortunately the excitement of the moment got me slightly taken a back so I missed the big moment on camera but I did manage to capture some of it.

HipposHippos

HipposElephant

The boys then looking all smug grouped together smiled for the camera and then continued on their journey.

So there ends the story of flying hippos.

Best It’s Mondays ever – You Choose!

Every Monday we bring you news from the bush in this weekly newsletter. From exciting wildlife sightings to funny staff stories and guests’ feedback, RPS friends have been updated weekly about all that’s going on at Robin Pope Safaris since the mid-90s. At that time it was a bit more difficult to get them to you, Jo used to send off hard copies by post. But since 2000, when internet arrived in the bush, “Its Mondays” were posted online and we still have them all in our archives, take a look.

We are in the process of making a book about all that RPS is about; the camps and lodges, special interest safaris, responsible tourism, the RPS team and more. We would like to include the top 5 “It’s Mondays” in it and who better to ask than our loyal “It’s Monday” readers. If you have a favourite ‘it’s Monday” (or five maximum) please send an email to bestofitsmonday@robinpopesafaris.net. The 5 most voted “It’s Mondays” will be part of the book. If your choice makes it to the top 5 “It’s Mondays”, we will send you a hard copy of the new book! Your help will be most appreciated!

On that note I shall leave you all to it, as the clouds build up and we gently simmer in the toasty heat of the day waiting for the rains to arrive.

Have a great week.

Cheers

Emily

elephants

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